Broncos running back C.J. Anderson, out since going to injured reserve in late October with a torn right meniscus, is unlikely to come back this season, head coach Gary Kubiak said Wednesday (via Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post). “I’d say he’s probably on course (to return) sometime in February,” stated Kubiak. Super Bowl LI is Feb. 5, but it doesn’t appear the reigning champion Broncos will be in position to defend their crown. Denver (8-6) has just a 17 percent chance to make the playoffs, according to Five Thirty Eight. One reason for the team’s slim postseason hopes is a running game that ranks 28th in yards per carry (3.6). Anderson was at 4.0 yards per attempt and five touchdowns (four rushing, one receiving) before going down Oct. 24. Fourth-round rookie Devontae Booker (3.4 YPC on 155 attempts) hasn’t picked up Anderson’s slack.
More from the AFC:
- As of three weeks ago, the Raiders were in danger of not meeting the NFL’s minimum payroll requirements from 2013-16. That’s no longer the case, though, as the team is now over the threshold thanks to incentive bonuses, general manager Reggie McKenzie told Alex Marvez of Sirius XM NFL Radio (Twitter link).
- Dolphins three-time Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey reiterated Wednesday that his hip issues are not career threatening, per James Walker of ESPN.com. Moreover, despite having landed on season-ending injured reserve last week, Pouncey won’t require surgery. The 27-year-old is optimistic he’ll be ready for the Dolphins’ spring program. “I feel good now. Obviously talking to my doctor made me feel real confident,” he said.
- Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth is an impending free agent, but the Pro Bowl alternate declared Wednesday that he would like to return to Cincinnati for a 12th season in 2017. “I know I want to be back. I believe they want me back,” he told Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer. The 35-year-old also indicated he’d be open to a moving inside, where he has some experience, saying, “If it’s guard, if it’s tackle, if it’s anything else I look forward to the opportunity.” Whitworth has been more than fine at left tackle, as he ranks as Pro Football Focus’ second-best bookend among 79 qualifiers. However, Cincy does have two young tackles – Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher – who were high picks in 2015.